The Future of Political Islam

The Future of Political Islam

By Graham Fuller; Graham E. Fuller; G. Fuller

Palgrave MacMillan, Paperback, 9781403965561, 227pp.

Publication Date: May 12, 2003

Description
September 11; vitriolic rhetoric against the United States by prominent Muslims; the war against terrorism shifts from Afghanistan to the Philippines and Indonesia. It is easy to believe Islam and Muslims are enemies of the West; it is also wrong. This sweeping survey of trends in the Muslim world contends that the issue is not whether Islam plays a central role in politics, but what Muslims want. To focus on radicalism and extremism blinds us from another trend: liberal political Islam. Proponents of liberal political Islam emphasize human rights and democracy, tolerance and cooperation. They face an uphill struggle as authoritarian regimes oppress opposition and use Islam to justify their undemocratic rule. As people are denied avenues to participate and criticize, as secular ideologies have failed, religion has come to play a central role in politics. The outcome of the struggle between extremists and liberals will determine the future of political Islam.


About the Author
Graham E. Fuller is former Vice-Chairman of the National Intelligence Council at CIA.






Praise For The Future of Political Islam

"...an illuminating read and a welcome addition to the growing literature on contemporary Islam..."--Publishers Weekly Annex

"After September 11, 2001, the discussion around Islam has often been shrill and usually sterile; that is why Graham Fuller's measured, scholarly and eminently sensible voice needs to be heard. Read Fuller's new book The Future of Political Islam to make sense of the dangerous, changing and complex relationship between the West and the world of Islam."--Akbar S. Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies, American University in Washington, D.C. is author of Islam Today: A Short Introduction to the Muslim World (I.B.Tauris, 2002)

"This is the most insightful book on developments in political Islam since the Iranian revolution shook the world. Having lived myself many years in the shadow of a mosque, I can say without hesitation that Fuller has captured the core and nature of Islamism. Importantly, he casts the movement as part of the solution to the looming confrontation between the United States and what we call the Islamic world, not just the cause of the confrontation. The Future of Political Islam is a must read, both for those shaping U.S. policy toward one-fifth of mankind and for America's own religious leaders who themselves have a hand on the political tiller."--Milt Bearden is a former senior CIA official and author of The Black Tulip (Random House, 2002) and co-author of The Main Enemy (Random House, 2003)

"Graham Fuller is supremely qualified to provide rich insight into contemporary Islamic thinking on politics, economics and international relations. Here his sensitivity to differences among Muslims combines with an impressive discussion of contemporary developments, resulting in an important contribution to understanding. Fuller argues persuasively that Islamic political movements are, above all, an engagement with the modern world, not a flight from it, and that it is possible to reason critically with their ideas. Fuller's hope that Islamist movements will engage in participatory politics, and his belief that they should be tested by the experience of government, underpin his cautiously optimistic analysis that the future of political Islam can be peaceful."--Fred Halliday, London School of Economics, author Nation and Religion in the Middle East